The father of a student wounded in Thursday’s shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, said his daughter told him that gunman Chris Harper Mercer specifically targeted Christians.
Before going in for spinal surgery, Anastasia Boylan told her father Stacy Boylan that everyone in her classroom dropped to the ground when Mercer entered the room firing his handgun, hitting a professor and others, CNN reported. While reloading, Mercer told students to stand up if they were Christians, she said.
“And they would stand up and he said, ‘Good, because you’re a Christian, you’re going to see God in just about one second,’ ” Stacy Boylan told CNN, relaying his daughter’s account. “And then he shot and killed them.”
Mercer, 26, was later killed in a shootout with Douglas County sheriff’s deputies, Sheriff John Hanlin said.
Sheriff Hanlin said 10 people were dead and seven wounded after the attack. An FBI spokeswoman told The Associated Press that the gunman was included in that number.
Earlier, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said 13 people had been killed. It was unclear what led to the discrepancy.
Four guns — three handguns and a long gun — were reportedly found at the scene.
Mercer reportedly was not a student or staff member at the college.
A neighbor of Mercer’s said he “seemed really unfriendly.”
Bronte Hart lived below Mercer in the community of Winchester. She said Mercer would “sit by himself in the dark in the balcony with this little light.”
Ms. Hart said a woman she believed to be Mercer’s mother also lived upstairs and was “crying her eyes out” Thursday.
KPTV reported that authorities had “taped off” a Winchester apartment complex with an address potentially linked to Mercer, and that a deputy had assured residents that there was no danger.
The Los Angeles Times, citing law enforcement sources, reported that Mercer formerly lived in the South Bay area of Los Angeles County.
Sheriff Hanlin praised law enforcement for their heroic actions following the shooting and said he won’t be speaking the shooter’s name.
“I will not give him the credit he probably sought prior to this horrific and cowardly act,” he said.
• This article is based in part on wire service reports.